Kim Hughes / HMV
Smart money says you won’t see a more heartfelt film this year than Last Cab To Darwin.
Widely acclaimed in its native Australia and on the worldwide festival circuit, the film – based on a stage play by Reg Cribb – asks what it means to live and what it means to die. The story may be fictional but its message is firmly rooted in the real world.
We caught an advance screening of Last Cab To Darwin ahead of its release Friday (July 8th) in Toronto and Vancouver. Here’s why you should seek it out.
What’s the plot?
Rex is a 70-year-old cab driver in small-town Australia. Not the adventurous type – he hasn’t travelled or married, preferring the safe company of his mates down the pub – Rex has carved a familiar niche that suits. That is, until he’s diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. Determined to control his fate, Rex sets off in his cab to another state where a recently passed euthanasia law may allow him to avoid a protracted and painful ending. On that 3,000 kilometre journey, Rex learns that before you end your life you’ve got to live it.
Who’s in it?
Among the Australian actors in the film, North Americans will recognize Jacki Weaver from her role in Silver Linings Playbook. Michael Caton, who plays Rex, as well Mark Coles Smith and Emma Hamilton – characters who join Rex’s road trip – are mostly unfamiliar which heightens the suspension of disbelief.
Does it deliver?
Ruminative, gently funny and at once sad and uplifting, Last Cab To Darwin is a must-see, especially for anyone suffering blockbuster burnout. Don’t forget the Kleenex.